Book Lists for Kids and Adults Reflect America’s Diverse Local Literary Heritage
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May 9, 2024

Media Contact: Brett Zongker,

Public Contact: Guy Lamolinara,

Library of Congress Centers for the Book Choose ‘Great Reads’ Titles for Each State, Territory for 2024 National Book Festival Book

Lists for Kids and Adults Reflect America’s Diverse Local Literary Heritage

The 56 affiliated Centers for the Book of the Library of Congress have chosen books, called Great Reads, that will be recognized at the 2024 Library of Congress National Book Festival, the Library announced today.

Every year since 2002, these Library affiliates have chosen a book to celebrate at the Book Festival in the Library’s Roadmap to Reading -– a vast space at the festival where every center has a table to promote their book choices as well as other aspects of their state’s or territory’s unique literary heritage. Each Center for the Book affiliate chooses its Great Reads titles.

“The titles named are as diverse as the states and territories that choose them,” said Guy Lamolinara, head of the Center for the Book Affiliates Program. “The Roadmap to Reading and the participation of the affiliate Centers for the Book make the National Book Festival a truly national event.”

The Library of Congress Center for the Book ( has affiliates in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and Northern Marianas. These affiliates carry out the center’s mission of promoting books, reading, libraries and literacy, as well as their local literary heritage.

The 2024 Library of Congress National Book Festival is Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Authors from across the nation will participate in programs that bring writers directly in touch with their readers. Authors who will be featured at the festival will be announced this summer.

The 2024 Great Reads for Adults are:

  • Alabama: R. Scot Duncan, “Southern Rivers: Restoring America's Freshwater Biodiversity”
  • Alaska: Melinda Moustakis, “Homestead: A Novel”
  • American Samoa: Karen Wheat, “Pictures of Change in Paradise in American Samoa”
  • Arizona: Melissa L Sevigny, “Brave the Wild River”
  • Arkansas: Eli Cranor, “Ozark Dogs”
  • California: Rosanna Xia, “California Against the Sea: Visions for Our Vanishing Coastline”
  • Colorado: Vauhini Vara, “The Immortal King Rao”
  • Connecticut: Ned Blackhawk, “The Rediscovery of America”
  • Delaware: Marisa de los Santos, “I'd Give Anything: A Novel”
  • District of Columbia: Nikki Payne, “Pride and Protest”
  • Florida: Rebecca Renner, “Gator Country: Deception, Danger and Alligators in the Everglades”
  • Georgia: David Bottoms, “A Scrap in the Blessings Jar: New and Selected Poems”
  • Guam: Oliver Sacks, “The Island of the Colorblind”
  • Hawaii: Mindy Pennybacker, “Surfing Sisterhood Hawaii: Wahine Reclaiming the Waves”
  • Idaho: Jenny Tinghui Zhang, “Four Treasures of the Sky”
  • Illinois: Jonathan Eig, “King: A Life”
  • Indiana: Kaveh Akbar, “Martyr!”
  • Iowa: Chris Jones,“The Swine Republic: Struggles With the Truth About Agriculture and Water Quality”
  • Kansas: Susan Jonusas,“Hell's Half-Acre: The Untold Story of the Benders, a Serial Killer Family on the American Frontier”
  • Kentucky: Crystal Wilkinson, “Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks”
  • Louisiana: Maurice Carlos Ruffin, “The American Daughters”
  • Maine: Marpheen Chan, “Moon In Full: A Coming of Age and Coming Out Story”
  • Maryland: Susan Muaddi Darraj, “Behind You Is the Sea”
  • Massachusetts: Tracy Kidder, “Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O'Connell's Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People”
  • Michigan: Dan Charnas,“Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm”
  • Minnesota: Mona Susan Power,“Council of Dolls”
  • Mississippi: Ellen Ann Fentress,“The Steps We Take: A Memoir of Southern Reckoning
  • Missouri: Desideria Mesa,“Bindle Punk Bruja”
  • Montana: Debra Magpie Earling, “The Lost Journals of Sacajewea”
  • Nebraska: Debora Harding, “Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir of a Crime”
  • Nevada: Kim Foster, “The Meth Lunches: Food and Longing in an American City”
  • New Hampshire: Nancy Clark: “The Hills at Home”
  • New Jersey: Darnell L. Moore, “No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America”
  • New Mexico: Darynda Jones, “Bad Day for Sunshine”
  • New York: J.D. Salinger, “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • North Carolina: David Joy, “Those We Thought We Knew”
  • North Dakota: Jill Kandel, “The Clean Daughter: A Cross-Continental Memoir”
  • Northern Marianas: Lino Olopai, “The Rope of Tradition: Reflections of a Saipan Carolinian”
  • Ohio: Timothy G. Anderson and Brian Schoen (editors), “Settling Ohio: First Peoples and Beyond”
  • Oklahoma: Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer, “Otis W. Leader: The Ideal American Doughboy”
  • Oregon: Kim Johnson, “Invisible Son”
  • Pennsylvania: Leon Ford (with Jeffery Renard Allen),“An Unspeakable Hope: Brutality, Forgiveness and Building a Better Future for My Son”
  • Puerto Rico: Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, “A Woman of Endurance” (English version) / “Indómita” (Spanish version)
  • Rhode Island: Vanessa Lillie, “Blood Sisters”
  • South Caroline: Robert Maynor, “The Big Game Is Every Night”
  • South Dakota: Trent Preszler, “Little and Often: A Memoir”
  • Tennessee: Major Jackson, “Razzle Dazzle: New and Selected Poems 2002-2022”
  • Texas: Elizabeth Crook, “The Which Way Tree”
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: Caldwell Trumbull, “The Lesson”
  • Utah: Stacie Shannon Denetsosie,“The Missing Morningstar and Other Stories”
  • Vermont: Kenneth M. Cadow, “Gather”
  • Virginia: Mojgan Ghazirad, “The House on Sun Street”
  • Washington: Matika Wilbur, “Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America”
  • West Virginia: Marc Harshman, “Following the Silence”
  • Wisconsin: Thomas Pecore Weso, “Survival Food: North Woods Stories by a Menominee Cook”
  • Wyoming: Michael Punke, “Ridgeline”

The 2024 Great Reads for Kids are:

  • Alabama: Charles Ghigna, “The Father Goose Treasury of Poetry: 101 Favorite Poems for Children”
  • Alaska: Nasugraq Rainey Hopson, “Eagle Drums”
  • American Samoa: Marilyn Down, “Tasi of American Samoa”
  • Arizona: Phoebe Fox, “On the Verde River”
  • Arkansas: Cathy Melvin, “Cypress Knees and Tupelo Trees: Discovering Plants and Animals of the Swamp”
  • California: Lilliam Rivera, “Barely Floating”
  • Colorado: Meg Long, “Cold The Night, Fast The Wolves”
  • Connecticut: Cindy L. Rodriguez, “Three Pockets Full”
  • Delaware: Michelle Meadows, “Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles (Who Did It First?)”
  • District of Columbia: Leah Henderson, “Your Voice, Your Vote”
  • Florida: Sara E. Echenique, “Our Roof Is Blue”
  • Georgia: Mo Netz, “The Lumbering Giants of Windy Pines”
  • Guam: Oliver Sacks, “The Island of the Colorblind”
  • Hawaii: Kaylin Melia George, “Aloha Everything”
  • Idaho: Randy'L Teton, “It's Her Story: Sacajawea”
  • Illinois: Sarah Aronson, “Abzuglutely!: Battling, Bellowing Bella Abzug”
  • Indiana: Gabrielle Balkan, “What a Map Can Do”
  • Iowa: Molly Griffin, “Ten Beautiful Things”
  • Kansas: Grant Snider, “One Boy Watching”
  • Kentucky: Brittany J. Thurman, “Forever and Always”
  • Louisiana: Ruby Bridges, “I Am Ruby Bridges”
  • Maine: Maryann Cocca-Leffler, “Fighting for Yes!: The Story of Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann”
  • Maryland: Rosa Chang, “My Indigo World: A True Story of the Color Blue”
  • Massachusetts: Linda Coombs, “Colonization and the Wampanoag Story”
  • Michigan: Katie Yamasaki, “Shapes, Lines and Light: My Grandfather's American Journey”
  • Minnesota: Cori Doerrfeld, “Beneath”
  • Mississippi: Alice Faye Duncan, “Traveling Shoes: The Story of Willye White, U.S. Olympian and Long Jump Champion”
  • Missouri: Pedro Martín, “Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir”
  • Montana: Linda Elovitz Marshall, “Bob Marshall: Defender of the Wilderness”
  • Nebraska: James Solheim, “Eat Your Woolly Mammoths!: Two Million Years of the World's Most Amazing Food Facts, from the Stone Age to the Future”
  • Nevada: Sophie Sheppard, “The Moon’s Tear: A Desert Night’s Dream”
  • New Hampshire: Amy Makechnie, “The McNifficents”
  • New Jersey: Wendy Mass, “Lo & Behold”
  • New Mexico: Daniel W. Vandever, “Herizon”
  • New York: George Sleden, “Cricket in Times Square”
  • North Carolina: Eileen Heyes, “Bountiful Red Acres: Two Farms, Two Families, and A Year on the Land”
  • North Dakota: Lindsey Undlin, “Sprial”
  • Northern Marianas: Adora Jay San Nicolas, “Hafa Sinentete-mu?”
  • Ohio: Chiquita Mullins Lee and Carmella Van Vleet, “You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce! The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce”
  • Oklahoma: Eddie Chuculate, “This Indian Kid: A Native American Memoir”
  • Oregon: Dane Liu, “Laolao's Dumplings”
  • Pennsylvania: Kelly Starling Lyons, “Ty's Travels: Camp-Out”
  • Puerto Rico: Sara Gavrell Ortiz, “La coquí nómada y el mar de estrellas” (Spanish version) / “Lani: the Nomad Coquí and the Sea of Stars” (English version)
  • Rhode Island: Hayley Rocco, “Wild Places:The Life of Naturalist David Attenborough”
  • South Carolina: Varian Johnson, “The Parker Inheritance”
  • South Dakota: Billy Mills & Donna Janell Bowman, “Wings of an Eagle: The Gold Medal Dreams of Billy Mills”
  • Tennessee: Savannah Allen, “The Nature Journal: A Backyard Adventure”
  • Texas: Barb Rosenstock, “The Mystery of the Monarchs: How Kids, Teachers and Butterfly Fans Helped Fred and Norah Urquhart Track the Great Monarch Migration”
  • Utah: Ally Condie, “Matched”
  • Vermont: Dan Nott, “Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day”
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: CM Rohan, “Ziggy on the Rock”
  • Virginia: Kelly Ann Jacobson, “Robin and Her Misfits”
  • Washington: Ellie Peterson, “How to Hug a Pufferfish”
  • West Virginia: Marc Harshman & Anna Egan Smucker, “Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece”
  • Wisconsin: Maria Parrott-Ryan, “Mysterious Glowing Mammals: An Unexpected Discovery Sparks a Scientific Investigation”
  • Wyoming: Catherine Barr, “The Wolves of Yellowstone: A Rewilding Story”

The National Book Festival Roadmap to Reading is made possible by the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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